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20th Jun 2014

JOE v Ladbrokes Betting Challenge: World Cup edition

Ladbrokes' Hayley O'Connor kicked our asses over the course of the Premier League, but undaunted, we are back to try and win this punting competition over the next five weeks.

Eric Lalor

Ladbrokes’ Hayley O’Connor kicked our asses over the course of the Premier League, but this is the World Cup, and as we’ve seen already, anything can happen.

Ladbrokes World Cup banner

Hayley and Ladbrokes beat us convincingly during the Premier League season, but we’ve forgotten all about that, we can’t even remember who won the league, it was that long ago. Now it’s all about the World Cup and this is where we will wreak our completely blown out of proportion revenge.

Each Friday, Hayley and ourselves will pick a wincast that we think will net us some sweet cash. Whoever has the most moolah left after the final wins. Simple.

Okay, after week one, neither of us did that well, but as a small crumb of comfort, we at least predicted Chile would win their match and they did, only Arturo Vidal didn’t complete the accumulator by scoring. Should have went with Alexis Sanchez, I knew it! Slightly more accurate than Hayley’s prediction of Spain and Costa to score. How wrong was that?! Okay, ultimately we are both still level, but come on!

So without further ado, here are the second week’s picks.


Karim Benzema to score and France to win, 6/4

Karim Benzema got off to a great start with two goals in the opening match against Honduras and it was his shot that led to the third goal which was the first ever goal awarded by goal-line technology. Benzema looks in the groove to me and after a fine season with his club, Real Madrid, we reckon he’ll continue that form by scoring today.

France strolled to victory over a very physical Honduras. Didier Deschamps looks to have brought unity to the French camp which is no mean thing and although Switzerland are a strong team, we just feel the French will have too much fire-power for the Swiss in the end.


Mario Balotelli to score and Italy to win, 11/8

We are big fans of Mario Balotelli here in JOE. Never a dull moment when he’s around, but it was his performance against England which really took us by surprise. No posing or sulking, just a very mature, excellent centre-forward performance culminating in the winning goal which he took with considerable aplomb. Judging by that performance, Mario is in the mood and we think he’ll score

Even though Costa Rica gave Uruguay a good pummelling in their opening match, their surprise factor is gone and the wily Italians won’t be caught out like their South American counterparts. With the majestic Pirlo pulling the strings effortlessly in midfleid, we predict a win for Italy which will of course mean, England go into their last match with still an outside chance of qualifying.